Training for Circular Economy in the Construction and Furniture Sectors

Milan Design Week 2017: Waste no more

Designers are reinvigorating the conversation around “circular” production, reassessing their materials while continuing to produce affordable, innovative, and high-quality products.

British designer Max Lamb collaborated with Danish company Really to launch their first design collection, Solid Textile Board, which is a collection of 12 benches. The collection uses upcycled end-oflife textiles, in this case cotton and wool, and turns the material into solid textile boards.

The sustainable material feels and functions like wood, and can be used in architecture and furniture design. The patented process to create solid textile boards allows the boards to be regranulated and formed into new material without use of additional chemicals.

Really was recently acquired by Danish textile brand Kvadrat, in a sign that the wider design industry intends to bring material sustainability to the forefront.

American furniture manufacturer Emeco launched 1 Inch Collection at Salone Del Mobile this week. The collection of chairs, stools and tables, which was designed by British designer Jasper Morrison, uses recycled aluminum for the chair and table frames and reclaimed or recycled materials for the surface.

Ecopixel, a company that specializes in recycled plastic materials, collaborated with Italian designer Allessandro Mendini for the Alex lounge chair, shown at Milan Design Week. The recycled plastic material can be re-melted repeatedly without losing its properties.

Swedish furniture giant Ikea continues to explore strategies for sustainable growth. In February, the company launched a new circular collection called Ikea PS 2017, which aims to eliminate waste at every step of the production process. In Milan, the collection was shown at the Ikea Festival and included vases by Finnish designer Iina Vuorivirta.

“Being circular means eliminating waste at every step of the way,” said Malin Nordin, development leader for Circular Ikea, in a press release. “Designers have been kept in the loop closely as they are key in building a circular Ikea, they need to have a deep understanding of how to make products circular.”

Earlier this year we reported on Ikea’s new Kungsbacka collection of kitchen fronts made from recycled plastic bottles. See here and here for more of our ongoing coverage from Milan Design Week.